Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Philadelphia’s Navy Yard Gets a Boost into 21st Century

Liberty Property Trust is giving Philadelphia‘s 214-year-old Navy Yard a jolt into the 21st century with a gravity-defying $35 million office building called 1200 Intrepid. The 94,000-square-foot, four-story structure, which was designed by global architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group, is targeting LEED gold certification. The building is Liberty’s fourteenth project in the 1.35 million-square-foot Navy Yard, where it is developing a mixed-use district. Although 1200 Intrepid has yet to secure tenants, it is set to open its doors in 2016.

The 94,000-square-foot, four-story structure just broke ground in the Navy Yard. The gravity defying, double curved design of the building mimics the circular nature of the new park at its doorstep, Central Green.

Central Green is a circular, five-acre park fronting the office block, designed by James Corner Field Operations – best known as the landscape architect behind the High Line Park in Manhattan.

The new park boasts circular plots occupied by a variety of trees and plants, pedestrian pathways, and a hammock grove. In addition, the park contains a running track, hammock grove, bocce courts, a fitness station, and a table tennis area. The space is designed to be sustainable, green and natural, as well as productive, collaborative and stimulating.

1200 Intrepid and Central Green are part of Pennsylvania’s plan to transform this segment of South Philly from an industrialized business campus to a multi-functional industrial space that will accommodate 11,000 employees working for companies ranging from the pharmaceutical industry to Urban Outfitters.

These two impressive additions to The Navy Yard kick off a new block of development in The Navy Yard, which has become a magnet location for business in Philadelphia.

Encompassing more than 1,200 acres, The Navy Yard is located in the southern part of Philadelphia. It opened in 1801 and served as an important naval hub during World War II. The site was decommissioned in 1996, and the land was acquired by the city in 2000.

In 2004, Robert AM Stern Architects, working with other design and real estate experts, was commissioned to produce a master plan for the site. The plan provides a series of initiatives and actions to create a vibrant mixed-use campus, centered on historic preservation, sustainability, and smart.

The plan's vision includes environmentally friendly workplaces, notable architecture, industrial development, great public spaces, waterfront amenities, improved mass transit and residential development.

The new building will help reach the Yard’s estimated goal of supporting up to $3 billion in private investments, 13.5 million square feet of development, and 30,000 people.

The Navy Yard is currently home to 120 companies with a total of 10,000 employees. The clothing company Urban Outfitters is headquartered there, while other tenants include a large bakery, two pharmaceutical companies, and an e-retailer that sells motorcycle gear.

This is the latest in a series of recent US commissions for Bjarke Ingels Group, following Two World Trade Center in New York and the new Google headquarters in California.

Although 1200 Intrepid has yet to secure tenants, it is set to open its doors in 2016.